It took long enough, but I finally found a day for this weekly roundup catching up on all the Huskie news: Mondays. I've done it the past two weeks that way an it seems to be working out great. We'll continue this and tweak it if there ends up being any problems. Unless you want it more often...lemme know. I'm also going to put any recruiting articles in a separate entity. It only makes sense because those players aren't exactly Huskies yet.
- John Sahly catches up with former Huskie football head man Joe Novak at the Brigham-Novak Classic, who hates Toledo just as much as the rest of us do:
Kill and Novak have become close since Kill took the reins from Novak. Kill calls every couple of weeks just to talk and keep the elder coach informed of what's going on in DeKalb.
Sometimes the calls are a little more frequent.
"The day they beat Toledo (38-7 on Oct. 18), before he even got off the field he was on the cell phone because he knew how much I hated Toledo," Novak said with a laugh. "Then they sent me the game ball.
"He's really done a great job of staying in touch and he doesn't need to do that but he's been great."
- As the Phillies are the biggest contenders to obtain Roy Halladay, former Huskie and current AA Philadelphia prospect pitcher Matt German won't be on the trading block because of a season-ending injury:
Unfortunately, those hopes are temporarily on hold. He's been shelved by injury since May 11.
"Stress fracture of my eighth rib on the (left) side," said German, speaking by phone from Gibson City after the Phillies sent him "home" to rest.
German had pitched 15 1/3 innings in 11 games (1.17 ERA) before a muscle spasm in his back sidelined him for four days. During a 15-pitch bullpen throwing session, he felt a sharp pain in his ribs.
"They put me on the DL and I had two weeks off," he said.
He said he felt something "pop" in his back when he returned and an MRI exam revealed the injury.
"It's pretty rare," he said. "They think it's from overuse. Even though I didn't pitch a lot of innings, I threw a lot in April.
"I warmed up quite a few times when I didn't get into games and threw 20 days in April. And this season, the manager liked to go with the hot hand and I had it for a while. I had a couple outings where I went three innings. Last season, I never threw more than two innings (in an appearance).
"I had a great start and I've never really been injured before, so it's definitely disappointing."
- Former fan-favorite basketball player Mike Hart undergoes surgery today to repair a small hole in his heart. My prayers go out to him for a full recovery. However, he still has plans to keep plugging away at a future in basketball:
Although it’s pure speculation, Patton said had Hart spent four years in a Huskies uniform he could be playing at the next level today.
"I think Mike would have had a legitimate chance at the NBA," Patton said. "Because he is such a student of the game; his natural ability would have been propelled by his tremendous work ethic."
After an expected six-month hiatus from contact sports to let the procedure heal properly, Hart plans to continue chasing his NBA dreams. At a National Basketball Development League camp in January, Hart was one of 200 prospective players at a tryout in Sacramento.
The NBDL measured, trained and scouted each individual to see if he had the potential required to enter the league that is a stepping stone to the NBA. Hart made it through two cuts and advanced to the final 20 players before being cut.
He’s a realist who said he needs more experience, but that he won’t give up on being a professional basketball player until he’s exhausted all avenues. He wants to head overseas to continue his basketball career once he is cleared to play by doctors.
But the NBDL opportunity gave him confidence he can compete at the next level and his hard work in the classroom allowed him another luxury, Patton said.
"Because Mike left with his degree, that gives him a chance to chase his dream a little bit longer," Patton said. "Because of the hard work he pours into everything he does though I know that he will be successful with whatever path he takes in life."
- Sahly, in crazy dedication, decided to rank EVERY single MAC conference game. Sure, why don't you go ahead with that:
Getcha popcorn ready
5. Western Michigan at Northern Illinois, Oct. 3
Last season, NIU had to use three quarterbacks and almost pulled off the win, losing, 29-26. Brandon West ran for 175 yards against the Huskies.
4. Buffalo at Western Michigan, Oct. 24
Western Michigan's offense against Buffalo's defense sounds like a fantastic game to me.
3. Central Michigan at Buffalo, Oct. 3
This is the biggest test Central Michigan has on the road in the MAC, and last year's conference champions are still loaded at most of the skill positions.
Gather around the TV, lock the doors, answer no phone calls
2. Buffalo at Temple, Sept. 26
I have these two teams as 1-2 in the East and this early season game will set the tone for the rest of the conference season. Last season's game between these two was an instant classic, with Buffalo winning on a Hail Mary.
1. Central Michigan at Western Michigan, Oct. 17
The single most important game in the MAC regular season takes place on Oct. 17. The Chippewas and Broncos are the favorites to win the division and the conference title.
- Mid-Major Madness ranks the NIU basketball team 287th for next year, which isn't TOO bad considering we're right above Central & Western Michigan.
- Two Huskies anchor the Top-10 list of golf constructors in Illinois in a Golf Digest poll.
- Two-time Big 10 player of the year Lindsay Chouinard hopes to turnaround the Huskie Softball team with her first coaching job.
- Chargers LB Larry English is a 15-1 favorite to win the defensive rookie of the year award.
An interesting perspective of former Huskie CB Duane "Scooter" Hawthorne during his playing time with the Dallas Cowboys. FYI, his jersey is hanging up in Fatty's.
1999 - You know you're just a camp guy when the media refers to you as a number. "Who's 27?" or something like "That No. 66 is pretty good." Well, that happens at every camp and 10 years ago, I can remember when "that No. 38" started making plays. That turned out to be a small, scrappy corner named Duane Hawthorne, an undrafted player from Northern Illinois. But Hawthorne fought his way onto the team and stuck around for four years, and played two more in San Francisco. Maybe you remember him or maybe you don't. To me, even 10 years later, I would rank Hawthorne as one of my top five favorite players.
- A bunch of Badger bloggers (say that 5x fast) get together on Bucky's 5th Quarter to discuss Wisconsin's offense
- The NY Times Quad Blog previews the Badgers at their No. 41 spot on their countdown.
- The Daily Gopher takes a good look at the Purdue Boilermakers.
- Idaho has a pretty interesting schedule poster.
- Mike Rasor previews the Eastern Michigan Eagles from an Akron perspective.
- Draft Zoo has an excellent and entertaining preview of the MAC, as evidenced by this quote on Ball State's mascot Charlie Cardinal:
That bird is not my doppelganger. Seriously though, I have no idea why it has a mullet and a stupid grin on its face. They just lost their QB and coach.
- The MAC Daily provides a MAC Field Hockey Preview. Sure, why not? NIU used to have a field hockey team, but dropped it in 1991 to add women's soccer.
- The Texas Bowl is moving from the NFL Network to ESPN. In a "duh" move, will Western Michigan be happy about this? They got drubbed by Rice 38-14 in the T Bowl last year and barely anybody took notice.
- Army signed on to the CBS College Sports Network for a TV deal extending through the 2014 season.
Odds and Ends
- ESPN's Dan Shanoff discusses the network's recent (unpopular) foray into local sports markets.
- The Dekalb Corn Fest is approaching - GET READY!!!
Dekalb downtown renovations = good thing. We've got to get that place in tip-top shape.